Friday 19 January 2018

Priory Hall nightmare to end in weeks, Kenny tells grieving woman

Stephanie Meehan with her children Oisin and Cerys at their home in Belmayne, Dublin
Stephanie Meehan with her children Oisin and Cerys at their home in Belmayne, Dublin
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

GRIEVING Priory Hall resident Stephanie Meehan told Taoiseach Enda Kenny that "actions speak louder than words" during a lengthy phone call between the pair.

The 35-year-old mother of two also believes that if the Government had dealt with the death-trap apartments two years ago, her partner Fiachra Daly would still be alive.

The Taoiseach has personally promised widow Ms Meehan that there will be a resolution to their housing nightmare within weeks.

Mr Kenny vowed to oversee a solution to the problems faced by families evacuated from their homes in the north Dublin complex and left with mounting debts.

But Ms Meehan told the Taoiseach she wanted to see real action. Her partner, Mr Daly (37), took his life in July after sustained pressure from banks due to mortgage arrears.

"I think if we could turn back the clock and the Government dealt with Priory Hall in a logical and respectful way, I would be in a happier place and Fiachra would still be here," said Ms Meehan.

"I told Enda Kenny that actions speak louder than words, and I personally want to see a solution by Christmas."

Mr Kenny called Ms Meehan after receiving an impassioned letter from her after Mr Daly's death. She wrote to the Taoiseach pleading for a solution to the ongoing debacle over the uninhabitable Clongriffin complex, which was built in 2007.

Her family was evacuated, along with 250 others, in October 2011.

The phone call lasted more than 30 minutes, and Ms Meehan told Mr Kenny that she wants a solution for Priory Hall residents by the end of this year.

The Taoiseach promised her there would be resolution "far quicker" than that.

Ms Meehan said she felt Mr Kenny was sincere and genuine in his condolences, but she added that no matter what decisions are made, they will not change anything for her and her two children Oisin (7) and two-year-old Cerys.

UNBEARABLE

"It has taken Fiachra's death for the Government to realise how far we have all been pushed," she said.

Ms Meehan has moved home five times since it was revealed that Priory Hall was a fire hazard.

"A third Christmas out of our home without any final solution would be just unbearable," she said.

In a separate move yesterday, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said he would convene a new process to finally arrive at a solution to the problems of the apartments built by former IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely.

The minister said he wants to see results in three weeks. Residents have given his pledge to convene a new process a cautious welcome.

"We have not been approached by the Department of Environment, and have not been made aware of exactly which parties will be involved in discussions," said Priory Hall spokesman Graham Usher. "We hope and expect that this time a solution can be found."

Irish Independent

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